Photography has always been something I did, since I started few years ago, purely for my own enjoyment. Be it a chance to play with some gears and gadgets, or leisure family portraits and vacation snaps, there was never any pressure to perform or to "get the shot". I was merely an observer in a natural surrounding while trying to extract a few precious moments out of reality.
During our last camping trip at Lake Cuyamaca, a good friend approached me to see if I was willing to do a session with him and his gorgeous family. My first instinct was "SURE!", and why not? They are very good friends, I love taking pictures. But then, a bit of self-doubt crept in. Am I up to snuff? I've been reading many photography forums and have seen lots of excellent works of professional photographers that do this for a living. Can I produce the same level of work? Do I have the necessary equipments? What about post-processing and touching up the photos? So, I chicken'd out and offered to take some test shots first, and if they liked them, then we can plan on something more formal. You can see the result in the photo above.
Then, last weekend, my niece wanted me to take some pictures of her artworks for college application submissions. Taking pictures of paintings wasn't too hard, just needed to make sure there was good lighting, good focus, and correct for white balance, distortion, and crop in the post. What she failed to mention was that she also designed and hand-made a dress out of scrap materials, which she will be modeling for me. Luckily, I have already purchased a large diffuser/reflector
that is collapsible like those sun shades one would put behind a car's front windshield. Working with a near-midday sun in our backyard, I think the results came out alright.
Don't worry, I'm not quitting my day job just yet. However, I was glad to be put outside of my comfort zone and was challenged with some pressure to produce good results. It feels like I've just grew a little bit taller :)